How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality Mark Donnigan VP Marketing Beamr

Read the original LinkedIn article here: How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality


Mark Donnigan is VP Marketing for Beamr, a high-performance video encoding technology company.

Computer system software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, software application video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec application and video encoder for two however rarely 3 of the pillars. It does say that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video suppliers will need to assess business services that have actually been performance enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those available from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the distribution model and go-to-market service strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the priority stack selection of new, more efficient software application video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to thrive and win versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality

Up until public clouds and common computing turned software-based video operations mainstream, the process of video encoding was performed with purpose-built hardware.

And then, software consumed the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the well known venture capital company with investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive companies, penned an article for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 entitled "Why Software Is Eating The World." A version of this post can be found on the website here.

"Six decades into the computer revolution, 4 decades because the invention of the microprocessor, and twenty years into the increase of the contemporary Web, all of the technology required to transform markets through software application finally works and can be commonly delivered at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have actually nearly completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software application applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to operate on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 machines, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely accurate to state that "software application is consuming (or more appropriately, has consumed) the world."

However what does this mean for an innovation or video operations executive?

Computer software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; appropriately, software application video encoding is vital to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without needing a linear boost in physical area and energies, unlike hardware.

When handling software-based video encoding, the three pillars that every video encoding engineer should attend to are bitrate performance, quality preservation, and calculating efficiency.

It's possible to optimize a video codec execution and video encoder for 2 but hardly ever three of the pillars. Many video encoding operations hence concentrate on quality and bitrate performance, leaving the calculate efficiency vector open as a sort of wild card. But as you will see, this is no longer a competitive approach.

The next frontier is software application computing efficiency.

Bitrate effectiveness with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will cause slow functional speed or a considerable boost in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder need to run at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate performance or outright quality is frequently needed.

Codec complexity, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the forthcoming VVC, is surpassing bitrate performance advancements and this has produced the requirement for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Generally, this is not a location that video encoding practitioners and image researchers require to be interested in, but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 shows the advantages of a software application encoding execution, which, when all qualities are normalized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do twice as much work on the exact same AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge instance.

In this example, the open-source encoders x264 and x265 are compared to Beamr's AVC and HEVC encoders, Beamr 4, and Beamr 5.

No alt text attended to this image
For services requiring to encode live 4Kp60, one can see that it is possible with Beamr 5 but not with x265. Beamr 5 set to the x264 comparable 'ultrafast' mode can encode four private streams on a single AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge circumstances while x265 operating in 'ultrafast' can not reach 60 FPS at 4K. As you can see in this poignant example, codec performance is straight associated to the quality of service as a result of fewer devices and less complicated encoding structures required.

For those services who are mainly concerned with VOD and H. 264, the best half of the Figure 1 graphic programs the performance benefit of a performance optimized codec execution that is established to produce extremely high quality with a high bitrate performance. Here one can see approximately a 2x benefit with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding compute resources cost real cash.

OPEX is thought about thoroughly by every video distributor. Suppose home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered reliably as an outcome of a mismatch in between Mark Donnigan the video operations ability and the expectation of the consumer.

Since of performance constraints with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single device. This does not mean that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. But it does state that to deliver the quality of video experience customers expect, video distributors will require to examine commercial solutions that have actually been performance optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those offered from AMD and Intel.

The need for software to be optimized for greater core counts was recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.

Video suppliers wishing to utilize software for the versatility and virtualization alternatives they provide will come across overly made complex engineering difficulties unless they choose encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a post that reveals the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of worrying computing performance and efficiency:

It's tempting to believe this is only a concern for video banners with tens or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the exact same trade-off considerations should be thought about regardless of the size of your operations. While a 30% cost savings at 1080p (H. 264), which is encoded at 3.5 Mbps, will offer more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps savings. The point is, we need to carefully and systematically consider where we are spending our compute resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
An industrial software option will be developed by a devoted codec engineering group that can balance the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and calculate performance. This is in plain contrast to open-source projects where factors have different and specific concerns and programs. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was constructed to achieve a different set of tradeoffs.
Insist internal teams and specialists carry out compute performance benchmarking on all software encoding solutions under consideration. The 3 vectors to determine are outright speed (FPS), private stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the total number of channels that can be created on a single server utilizing a small ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce similar video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical group prepares a video encoder shoot out, make sure to ask what their test plan is for benchmarking the compute effectiveness (performance) of each option. With a lot upheaval in the distribution model and go-to-market service plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be tempting to lower the priority stack selection of brand-new, more effective software application video encoders. Surrendering this work might have an authentic effect on a service's competitiveness and ability to scale to satisfy future entertainment service requirements. With software application consuming the video encoding function, calculate performance is now the oxygen required to flourish and win versus a progressively competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

You can experiment with Beamr's software video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of complimentary HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding monthly. CLICK HERE

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